From time to time, Honorary Membership is conferred on persons who have contributed significantly to the ACT Law Society or to the ACT legal profession.
According to the Constitution of the ACT Law Society: “The Council may confer the status of Honorary Member on a Member, former Member or person eligible for Membership who is considered by the Council to have rendered outstanding service to the Society or to the legal profession.”
The award is presented at the discretion of the Council of the ACT Law Society.
Sir Clarrie Harders OBE was appointed an honorary member in August 1979, on his retirement as Secretary of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.
The Hon Kevin O'Leary QC was appointed in November 1987 on his retirement as Chief Justice of the Northern Territory Supreme Court. He had been President of the Society for three years at the time when the first Legal Practitioners Act was being drafted. He was also intimately involved in the establishment of the practical legal training course at the ANU.
David Crossin AM OBE was appointed in October 1988 following his chairmanship of the committee which organised the 1988 Australian Bicentennial Legal Convention. Mr Crossin had held many positions of responsibility in the Law Society and in the Canberra community generally. He was President of the Law Society from 1980 to 1983, had been an ACT practitioner for almost 50 years, and was a member and Chairman of the Professional Conduct Board.
The Hon David Harper OAM was appointed in August 2003 following his appointment to the Bench of the ACT Supreme Court as Master. He had been a member of the Society for 33 years and a member of Council for 29 years and President from 1978-80.
The Hon Terry Higgins AO QC was appointed an honorary member in June 2012. In addition to a distinguished career on the Bench and as an advocate, he made a noteworthy contribution to the affairs of the Society as a member, committee member, Councillor, and Vice-President.
Christopher Chenoweth OAM was appointed an honorary member in June 2012. He gave selflessly of his time, knowledge and considerable skill to the affairs of the Society over many years as a member of many of our committees, a long serving Councillor, a Vice-President and as our President from 1999 to 2001. He contributed substantially to the profession as a member of the Admissions Board, the Sentence Administration Board, a presiding member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal and as Special Magistrate.
Louise Vardanega PSM was appointed an honorary member in August 2014 for her immense contribution to the Law Society over a long period beginning in 1976. She was a member of the Council continuously since October 1991, including 25 years as Secretary.
Larry King was appointed an honorary member in August 2016 in recognition of his 17 years of service to the ACT Law Society as Executive Director and CEO.
Martin Hockridge was appointed an honorary member in August 2018, in recognition of his many years of service to the ACT Law Society. He was President of the Law Society for three years, and on Council of the Law Society for 13 years, including serving as Vice President for four years and Immediate Past President for two years.